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Link Roundup: Bucs In Latin America

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-P- The official site has a profile of Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo. It's basically an attempt to convince fans that the Pirates do, in fact, have something going on in Latin America. This leads to a couple of rather funny passages, like this one:

Like all Major League clubs, the Pirates have been well aware for many years that Latin America is a hotbed for baseball talent. However, under the direction of general manager Dave Littlefield, the organization has placed an even greater emphasis on its efforts in Latin America the past few years.

That's rich. Littlefield was downright negligent in his inattention to Latin America in his first few years on the job, but that doesn't stop the official site from crediting him with placing an "even greater emphasis" on the area in the past couple years, even though there are still no Latin American prospects signed under Littlefield at any level above rookie ball. And no, Romulo! doesn't count.

Still, this article is worth checking out if you want some basic information about the Pirates' Latin American scouting operation. Also, Gayo throws out the names of a bunch of players to watch, most of whom aren't yet in the U.S. minor leagues. Gayo:

"We have quite a few that are interesting. There's a young man by the name of Ricardo Paulino, a right-handed pitcher. There's also a kid named Alex Vargas, a first baseman that swings the bat pretty well. There's a pitcher named Eddy Nunez, who is a pretty good-looking kid. Another young man by the name of Maxel Fortuna is a good-looking player. There's a left-handed pitcher from Nicaragua, Carlos Teller. We also have a shortstop, Jose De los Santos. That's another name you should put down. He's a real good-looking player."

Of these, I think De los Santos is the only one who has reached the U.S. minors. He played at Bradenton last year as a 21 year old and was not especially impressive. 21 is the sort of age where you'd hope a prospect would be able to handle the lowest rookie league. So I'm not holding my breath for these other players to get to the majors.

-P- The Post-Gazette reports that the Bucs have signed three minor leaguers. One is catcher Omar Falcon who played last season in the Seattle organization - didn't he just get taken in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft? Another is Paul Castellano, a 29 year old catcher. He'll probably be at Altoona, perhaps catching occasionally but probably also playing some outfield. The Bucs also re-signed Brett Roneberg, who played outfield for Altoona last season.